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The Heart Room Project

The heart room project aimed to form an area where all were welcome, patients, relatives and health professionals. The Heart Room should also provide an atmosphere where one felt secure, comfortable and promote interaction in shared activities. With a better caring environment, it was also the aim of the project to reduce the use of restraints towards patients.


Download and read the report on The Heart Room, Odense (Danish)

Download and read the report on insights and concepts in The Heart Room Project, Aalborg (Danish)


Children and young person’s psychiatric department could be described as a hectic environment by patient relatives and staff. The department is very busy where health professionals are often inundated with tasks. The staff room door opens approximately 72 times an hour with queries from staff members, patients, relatives and others. This results in longer delays in caring for patients and relatives and a greater potential for preventable conflicts to arise. As an attempt to overcome these issues, “The Heart room “project was introduced.

The project

Psychiatric services in the Region of Southern Denmark ambition is to reduce episodes of restraining patients in their services by 50% before 2020 and have employed diverse initiatives in psychiatric departments throughout the Region to achieve this goal. One initiative was lights project in psychiatric services, where research has shown lights have a calming effect on patients. Another initiative was SafeWard a concept which has been scientifically proven to prevent conflicts in psychiatric departments. Both these initiatives are incorporated in the Heart Room” project.

The Heart Room project process included a collective approach where children, young persons, relatives, health professionals, interior designers and others were involved in conveying different ideas, developing and implementing the project.

The young patient staying at our department have themselves come with possible improvements such as visible information regarding what they shall do during the day and were active in conveying their ideas for activities. This also expresses, that it is important to feel secure. So there is also less risk conflicts arise says Lene Granhøj, Charge Nurse at the children and young psychiatric department (quote translated from Danish)

The Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark performed a site visit to the children and young person’s psychiatric department and observed and interviewed patients and relatives, to gain ideas from children, young persons and relatives of how the physical environment could be improved so they could feel at ease and secure in their surroundings.